We believe that science is a powerful systematic approach for discovering and organizing information.

It allows us to create models of our world that can be used to enhance our lives, relationships, and society. The research lab serves as a core organizing infrastructure that allows scientific inquiry to progress. Research labs function efficiently when all members of the lab believe in and adhere to the lab’s core values.

A group photo of the AZA lab under red lights.

Our Core Values are:


Having a creative mindset that is not constrained by current limitations or dogma allows us to envision, design, and conduct experiments that bridge knowledge gaps to the future.


We conduct science that can change societal understanding, behaviors, and policies in order to facilitate human evolution and survival.


Our science follows an intelligent, methodological, evidence-based approach that can withstand judicious peer review and is reproducible.


The best science occurs when people with different sets of experiences, perspectives, and sociocultural backgrounds can work together in teams. We provide a brave space where all members of the team feel they can bring their differences and have their voices valued and heard. Our collective strength and value to the broader community is enhanced by our diversity.


We consider the potential benefits and harm of the information that we uncover through scientific inquiry. We conduct science with virtuous intentions and are mindful of the impact of our individual and collective thoughts and actions on our colleagues, local community, and broader society. We maintain a right relationship with the land and resources that support our work and our lives.

Training Philosophy

A message from Dr. AZA

In order to have a successful growth experience while in the lab, I expect that all trainees believe in and uphold our core values. I strive to create and maintain open communication among the members of the lab, which allows us to navigate any challenges that arise in the scientific process or in interpersonal interactions.

Individual research assignments for projects in the lab are designed around the intersection of each trainee’s interests and the lab’s overall scientific direction, expertise, and funding. Trainees are expected to bring a positive, creative, affirming attitude to the lab environment and demonstrate their passion for learning by taking initiative when given assignments and projects.

Lab members should be comfortable working independently while maintaining accountability to the team. Research experiments should be well documented and data should be stored securely. Protocols for experiments should be written with clarity and reproducibility as priorities.

Mistakes and errors are an expected part of the training process and should be viewed as opportunities for growth. They should be communicated promptly and honestly to maximize the learning potential and minimize the potential damage. Learning is demonstrated by not repeating the same mistake or error consistently.

An important part of the training process is learning your limits and how to set boundaries so that you can have a fulfilling life outside of the lab. Your health and personal relationships are a priority and you are encouraged to seek help in and out of the lab to ensure that you are striking a healthy balance between professional progress and personal joy and well-being.

Green wave